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February 19, 2009

Toronto, ON

Royal Ontario Museum agrees to sell McLaughlin Planetarium site to University of Toronto

After abandoning a plan to replace the historic McLaughlin Planetarium building at 90 Queen’s Park Crescent with a 46-storey condominium building, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has agreed to sell the site for $22 million to the University of Toronto.

The value of the purchase was determined based on net profit that the ROM had hoped to make on the proposed residential development, which had met with resistance from local and environmental groups.

The purchase will provide the university with much-needed room for a planned expansion of the St. George campus and will serve the local community with potential retail and commercial space.

The university expects to undertake a lengthy planning procedure and Master Planning process through 2011, which will help to flush out the development potential on the site.

However university representatives have already said the development will include classroom and office space for the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Business.

The ROM will also lease office and storage space in the new buildings.

The McLaughlin Planetarium was built after the university transferred the land to the ROM free of charge in 1967. University representatives now expect the building will be demolished as part of the expansion project.

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